Director of TrailNation Projects

  • Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • Dec 24, 2018
Full time Advocacy and Policy Business Development Communication - Public Outreach Conservation/ Natural Resources Environmental Planning - NEPA Outdoor Recreation - Guides- Trails - Wilderness

Job Description

Job Location

This position is located in RTC’s national office in Washington, D.C. (West End/DuPont Circle area), and is easily accessible from Metro’s Red line (Farragut North) and Blue/Orange/Silver lines (Foggy Bottom). We may consider split time with our Baltimore office location.

Job Description

The Director of TrailNation™ Projects is a new position that will support the VP of Trail Development in managing and implementing RTC’s TrailNation project portfolio and associated  Trail Development team. TrailNation is RTC’s innovative program to catalyze the rapid development of regional trail and active transportation networks, from concept to implementation, across eight cities and regions. We take a systematic approach, applying RTC’s depth of expertise and collaborative strategies to reflect local realities and new opportunities.

This is an excellent opportunity for a strategic, creative and results-oriented professional with exceptional people management, trail/active-transportation planning and project implementation skills to join a successful organization in a leadership position.

Responsibilities include the following:

Project Leadership

  • Manage multiple TrailNation projects (two to three) at the strategic and operational levels to develop, lead and implement strategies that advance the TrailNation projects through all phases of development
  • Collaborate with and manage trail development staff charged with the management of TrailNation projects
  • Guide and collaborate with staff on complex project opportunities, and troubleshoot hurdles, related to: diverse coalition building and partner engagement; active transportation and trail network planning; political will; GIS mapping; public engagement; public finance and funding; and external project communications
  • Provide content expertise to staff in one or more of the following topics: trail development, active transportation planning, economic development, public finance, public health, real estate and/or social equity
  • Support the VP of Trail Development in implementing department-wide, ongoing work, which may include:

- Codifying and standardizing RTC’s evolving methods and approaches to its TrailNation projects
- Developing training modules that can be delivered in person and remotely
- Extracting TrailNation lessons learned into resources and materials that can be applied to and shared with other internal and external projects
- Developing and tracking metrics to evaluate project success

  • Work hand in glove with other internal teams to achieve the following goals:

- Development Department to support the creation of successful fundraising proposals to support TrailNation projects
- Communications Department to increase project visibility and utilize communication channels to advance TrailNation project goals
- Policy Department to activate advocacy channels and increase public funding available for the buildout of TrailNation projects
- Operations Department to develop and manage complex TrailNation project budgets

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Supervise two to five direct-reporting staff, as well as indirect staff and consultants on the trail development team
  • Collaborate with and support staff in implementing and project-managing their respective TrailNation projects, including, but not limited to, identifying and managing strategic partnerships and opportunities
  • Oversee and monitor staff’s project workplans and budgets
  • Mentor staff in meeting their workplan goals and career development
  • Conduct performance reviews and provide feedback for staff


Ideal candidate will possess the following skills and qualifications:

  • Five to ten years of progressively responsible experience managing complex and multidisciplinary projects in active transportation, planning, public policy or economic development
  • Content expertise in one or more of the following topics: trail development, active transportation planning, economic development, public finance, public health, real estate and/or social equity
  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives and managing performance
  • Strong ability to engage with a wide variety of stakeholders, both internally and externally, and to build diverse coalitions with the goal of creating support for the project
  • Advanced project management skills and experience, including the ability to set short- and long-term planning goals in line with program priorities and available resources
  • Outstanding oral and written communication, and strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to design, execute and facilitate forums, workshops and other content-rich convenings
  • Consensus-building skills, with the ability to read an audience and be decisive
  • Experience developing and managing foundation grants, including proposal development, management of deliverables and budget reporting
  • Ability/will to operate with excellence in mind in all matters, with the confidence to defend and debate ideas
  • Spark, imagination and creativity
  • Experience using Microsoft Excel to create and monitor budgets
  • Willingness and ability to travel (approximately 20–30 percent)
  • Valid driver’s license (required)

The following qualifications are preferred:

  • Experience using ESRI products (ArcMap, ArcGIS Online) for GIS mapping
  • Experience working with or for local government
  • A bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in urban/transportation planning, conservation planning, public administration, economic development, public health, real estate or a related field

Work Environment

Normal office setting with low-to-moderate noise level. Travel required, including some evenings and weekends.

Employer's Rights

RTC reserves the right to revise, change or reclassify this job description at any time in accordance with RTC’s business needs. This job description is by no means an implied contract.

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